2020 Future Timeline Prediction

Submitted by Matt on Sat, 11/28/2020 - 14:24

I want to end 2020 with some fun futuristic predictions for the next century. Most of these numbers are completely made up by me but have at least some factual basis from available literature at this time. Will be fun to look at this again a few decades from now.


COVID-19 ravages a largely unprepared human civilization

Unconfirmed signs of life discovered on Venus

AI accelerators begin to become commonplace for automotive applications

Joe Biden elected president

1 TB MicroSD available for under $250 USD

8 core x86 mobile part

SpaceX Starship 12.5km hop test

Arecibo Space Telescope collapses

Cyperpunk 2077 is released, a highly anticipated and realistic game that depicts a curious but somewhat plausible future for humanity


SpaceX Starship reaches orbit

First orbital tourists to fly on a private spacecraft (SpaceX Crew Dragon)

First 5 nm microchips ship

DDR5 becomes commercially available

Tokyo Olympic Games

COVID-19 vaccine generally available and effective

US National Debt reaches $30 Trillion

First exascale supercomputer deployment

NASA Perseverance Rover lands on Mars

The movie Avatar's sequel is finally released


Self driving vehicles begin to operate commercially and out of beta testing in certain large cities

2 TB MicroSD (or equivalent storage format) available for under $250 2020 USD

Utility scale solar power cheaper to deploy than any other type of power generation

Chinese create a national cryptocurrency

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is launched and deployed

New Glenn rocket launches for the first time

First SpaceX Starship orbital launch

Tesla Cybertruck begins to ship in large volume


After sporadic expeditions in the past, orbital tourism is now a regular thing from this year forward. Seats start at $40M a piece and drop slightly each year after

First 3 nm microchips are fabricated

Starlink constellation is functionally deployed and able to service all useful latitudes

The new Chinese space station is now complete

Donald Trump again runs for president

SpaceX Starship orbital refueling first demonstration


Experimental SpaceX Starship sent to Mars orbit with optics and instruments to scout out landing sites

First element of Lunar Gateway launched

Joe Biden Elected President for a 2nd term

3 TB MicroSD (or equivalent storage format) available for under $250 2020 USD

Imaging of the first earth-sized exoplanet by the JWST

After years of hemorrhaging customers and cash the cable companies finally begin to change their subscription models and channel packages to be more with the times. These channels become almost entirely internet based with innovative subscription models

Median broadband connection in the USA has a bandwidth of 150 mbps down and 20 mbps up


Dear moon flyby occurs, a literal concert in orbit, considered by many around the world as the most inspiring space event since the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969 or the similar Apollo 8 flyby in 1968

First 1.5nm microchips ship

C02 levels in the atmosphere reach 450 ppm which corresponds to ~1.0C in planet warming

New utility grid storage options make fossil fuel sources of energy further less competitive with respect to wind and solar

US National Debt reaches $35 Trillion

4G network and satellite uplinks takes shape on the moon

It is now apparent that Starlink and other satellite broadband internet-anywhere services have begun a slow but steady de-urbanization of major tech hubs. Top qualified professionals are able now buy up remote and scenic nature property to escape the major cities. This process while slow at first begins to accelerate towards the end of the decade

VR begins to go mainstream. Early adopters have long been using VR for years but this type of entertainment finally becomes immersive and cheap enough to be preferred by many vs other types of gaming experiences


AI Accelerators become an indispensable part of supporting daily life for people in developed countries. Used for speech recognition (dictating spoken commands) and image recognition (memory augmentation)

DDR6 becomes commercially available

New anti-aging therapy to lengthen DNA telomeres

ITER fusion reactor is switched on

Experimental SpaceX Starship sent to Mars to deliver Starlink uplink satellites as well as attempt landing

Heterogeneous computing architectures becoming more common in enterprise. This includes HBM, CPU and GPU-like compute units in the same package

Lunar Gateway completes assembly and is crewed for the first time

The International Space Station's lifespan is extended through 2030

AI accelerators begin to become practical off-the-shelf components for edge compute devices


First International moon landing missions begin to take place. Samples of ice water are mined from the moon and returned to Lunar Gateway and later earth for analysis

4 TB MicroSD (or equivalent storage format) available for under $250 2020 USD

Possible bio-signatures detected on an exoplanet by the JWST

Aquaculture now provides the majority of the worlds seafood

Synthetic beef becomes commercially viable for the first time. Sales of this new food are initially slow

Blockchain technology is now being widely utilized in government, banking and real estate

Petroleum demand by now has mostly peaked for all developed countries. Demand is now declining by single digit percentage points year on year

First artificial gravity experiment has been performed in orbit


SpaceX Mars Cargo Drop

30% percent of automobiles sold globally are now electric drive

New United States president is elected, the youngest in the modern era at 47

Contact with Voyager space probes, currently travelling through interstellar space, is lost

In the United States the income share of the top 10% of earners reaches over 65%

First operational US Navy railgun

Houston to Dallas bullet train begins construction

Several companies begin experimenting with hypersonic and  point to point rocket travel in an attempt to win a Department of Defense contract

An entire synthetic human genome has been constructed for the first time


Cost of mass to orbit is now hovering around $25 2020 USD per kg

CAR t-cell therapies are now able to cure many types of cancer

In the United States a decent fraction (5-20%) of all package deliveries to residential locations are now performed by autonomous drones

Vladimir Putin retires with his billions in cash

60 years have gone by since the first moon landing. All of the original Astronauts have passed on

OPEC begins to break up due to plummeting demand

Revolution in Venezuela


Permanent presence on moon by limited number of scientists and astronauts

First brain-computer direct interface is commercially available. Begins deployment to few brave first adopters

Population of the United States reaches 350 million people

Internet access finally becomes a public utility for many large cities in the United States

Scientific probe sent to Venus uncovers life in the clouds

The International Space Station is decommissioned after detaching the Russian modules for commercial purposes

Universal healthcare act with a public option finally passes in the United States


8 TB MicroSD (or equivalent storage format) available for under $250 2020 USD

Hypersonic point to point rocket travel becomes practical on earth for the first time, first tickets are $50k each.

New phased array space telescope launched with a resolution 10x better than any previous space or land telescope

A bio-terror attack occurs in a major western European city

Arctic and Antarctic ice shelf shows noticeable degradation from warming

Synthetic Beef, Chicken and Pork begin gaining greater acceptance for both ethical and economic reasons


International Mars Expedition 1

'Fabricators' hit the market (think more sophisticated 3d printer) capable of building simple circuit boards and ASICs given basic feeds-stock materials

Cost of mass to orbit is now hovering around $10 2020 USD per kg

Vat grown human organ replacements are now becoming a reality

First true Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) commercially available. Although only as smart as an insect, this technology will revolutionize manufacturing as well as menial tasks such as janitorial and construction work

New computing substrate alternative to silicon is engineered, allowing great boosts to chip clock speeds. These chips become the new HPC go-to as they iteratively increase their density


First lunar tourist sets foot on moon

Semiconductor chips begin to give way to quantum ones for certain applications

Undersea mining becomes economically viable, mainly for precious metals and rare earths

The Social Security Trust Fund becomes insolvent and requires the Federal Government to address the issue

Real time satellite aerial imagery becomes available for major cities on web based mapping software

Synthetic blood and plasma replacement are now commercially available

Internet access becomes a public utility in many major metropolitan municipalities

Baby boomers are no longer the largest fraction of most elected positions, ending an unprecedented reign of around 45 years


International Mars Expedition 2

Signs of past life are discovered on Mars for the first time

An Alzheimer's treatment therapy passes FDA approval. This treatment mostly arrests the disease if caught in the very early stages

North pole ice levels become extremely low even in winter

First commercially viable fusion reactor design is completed, tend to be in the single digit megawatt range and located close to cities for consumption. These units are deployed all throughout the next decade and slowly pump the brakes on the rapidly expanding solar and wind industry


Brain-computer direct interfaces are now installed in .0001% of the world’s population

Over 50% percent of automobiles sold globally are now electric drive

The north pole is now virtually clear of sea ice at all times of the year


International Mars Expedition 3

Unemployment due to automation becomes a big issue for many developed economies. In some urban places it is as high as 30% while at the same time in the previous decade it was 5%


Fusion power accounts for 1% of global electricity generation, solar and wind account for 50%


International Mars Expedition 4

Hypersonic point to point rocket travel now becoming commonplace on the surface of the earth


Increasingly sophisticated Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) becomes commercially available, now as smart as the average dog or horse


Permanent presence on mars by limited number of scientists

Brain-computer direct interfaces are now installed in .01% of the world’s population. The installation process is now an outpatient procedure


Autonomous vehicles become the majority of traffic on the road. Consequently most teenage Americans now have the luxury of not having to learn to drive.


First vat-grown human fetuses that carry to full term are created by scientists


First manned Expedition to Outer Solar System, likely Ceres or Titan

Sea levels on earth have now risen approximately 5 feet since the year 2020. This is enough to swamp many ocean micro-nations creating a mid-sized refugee crisis


First privately funded asteroid mining expedition

Signs of purely microbial life discovered 20 light years away on a distant rocky planet


Most types of aging are generally reversible, if you can afford it


Brain-computer direct interfaces are now installed in 1% of the world’s population

Theoretical exotic form of propulsion discovered, experts say this could open up the outer solar system within years


CO2 levels in the atmosphere reach 600 ppm which corresponds to 2.5C in planet warming

Research Station created on Ganymede


First low IQ human-equivalent AGI has been created in a lab sparking excitement and intense theological debate about the future of our species

A new large radio telescope is constructed on the dark side of the moon


Orbital Propellant is now an available commodity

Brain-computer direct interfaces are now installed in 10% of the world’s population

Population of Asia plateaus at around 5.3 billion people


Signs of presumably extinct intelligent life found by radio astronomers 200 light years away. These results are 70% certain and will rely on a future scientific project to confirm the results


First Martian colonial group of 50 people sets off for the red planet

Matt finally retires


Urban rich parts of the world are truly becoming post-scarcity in their existence

Elon Musk dies of a stroke prompting mourning all over the world. His ashes are transported to mars on a later expedition


Second Martian colonial group sets off for the red planet

First average human-equivalent AGI become commercially available. Selling intelligent virtual beings is a very controversial subject for many but due to their expense initial adoption is by large corporations and the super wealthy so many of these concerns are shelved in the short term

AGI quickly becomes ubiquitous and propels certain human populations to a standard of living only dreamt of by previous generations. Though most cannot afford human level AGI, lower levels are easily affordable and revolutionary to society as we know it


Corporation and government R&D needs humans less and less. Automation and AGI finally begin to chip away at the roles of white collar workers for the first time


Brain-computer direct interfaces are now installed in 50% of the world’s population

Population of the United States reaches 400 million people


Massive levels of unemployment among all professions

Universal Basic Income is instituted across the board in the United States


It has been leaked that a corporation has created the first super AGI. Perhaps unsurprisingly many other corporations are close behind it seems. Some governments attempt to democratize access to these AI with extremely limited success


Much of the developed world could now be considered post-scarcity

Human prosperity on earth reaches its peak for many in the developed world


Multiple companies are now exploiting resources in main asteroid belt bringing home many precious metals as well as fissile fuels


First AGI super-intelligent beings are coming into their own, starting many ambitious mega-projects and completing massive amounts of scientific research. The existence of these virtual beings is terrifying to a large portion of the human population. Futile attempts to outlaw and/or regulate these beings are made 


Matt reaches the age of 80 (hopefully)


The corporate super AGI have quietly begun to displace their corresponding top level executives and lead visionary engineers to pursue their own agenda

Climate change has increasingly become a huge issue. Crop failures, heat waves and droughts begin to hit large parts of the world. Sea levels rises are threatening most large coastal cities.


One martian colony passes 500 members


First super AGI begin to leave earth for the outer solar system for corporate mega-projects. As these and later AGI evolve in the later decades they will slowly become Humanity's most important legacy


An open source super AGI has been invented. While not as powerful as their corporate counterparts, these new beings at least allow normal humans to benefit directly. These artificial agents require substantial resources to run and maintain so public adoption is somewhat limited, but many become self sufficient after a time


The USA celebrates it's tricentennial


World population plateaus at around 10 billion people

Climate refugee crisis engulfs the world. All nations scramble to sequester carbon and mitigate the effects of warming

First mind upload is completed for a prominent trillionaire at considerable expense. This technology begins to scale and become cheaper and in high demand


C02 levels in the atmosphere reach 800 ppm which corresponds to 4.0C in planet warming. Most mitigation efforts have failed thus far

Martian colony becomes mostly self sufficient

Technology invented to control the climate that is careening out of control on earth begins to be used on other planets in the solar system to make them more habitable


Mind uploading is now affordable to more people though still considerably expensive


First (Human/Machine?) detailed exploration of the Kuiper Belt

Large swaths of Earth near the equator have become practically uninhabitable, many wealthy see the writing on the wall and begin to flee to utopian habitats in orbit


Virtual worlds for uploaded minds begin to be built where you may choose to live in an entirely simulated environment. These uploaded minds may live several lifetimes within a year if they choose to, many opt to hibernate to wait for more interesting times. A small number choose to end things altogether, a la virtual death.


Martian colony passes 5000 members


Biological life as we know it today ceases to exist, humans are mostly biologically based machine hybrids now

Artificial consciousness becomes the official descendants of the human race.

Pockets of unaltered humans continue to exist on earth each living in willful ignorance of the growing off-world AI technocracy. Eventually many of these humans forget their shared heritage with the rapidly ascending machines and hybrids


Last biologically pure human is born


Vast AGI competition for the solar system's resources